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World Class Care. ., Anytime, Ajiywhere 

Issue 6 
June 12, 2009 

Inside this Issue : 

AdmiraVs Call by the Surgeon 
General of the U.S. Navy 
Vice Admiral Adam. M. 
Robinson, Jr. 

Providing Care for the Caregiver 
Commences at NHB 

From West Coast to West Africa, 
Navy Doctor Spans Care World 

NMPS Corpsmen Receives Bronze 

Continuing Promise Crews Arrive 
in Colombia to Continue Mission 

Navy Medicine R&D Takes Another 6 
Step Forward; Ground Breaks for 
Joint Research Facility; Navy Units 
Combine as NAMRU-SA 

SECNAV Sees Ongoing NH Jax 
Upgrades While at NAS 
Jacksonville for Hangar Opening 


Portsmouth Naval: First Military 
Hospital to Join March of Dimes on 
NICU Support 

Summer swimming. Summer is here 
and that means Americans soon head to 
outdoor pools and water parks. While 
swimming can be fun and good exercise, 
pools can contain germs that can make 
swimmers ill. Swimmers can follow 
these basic steps to help protect them- 
selves and other swimmers from these 
germs: don't swim when you or your 
children have diarrhea, don't swallow the 
pool water and avoid getting it in your 
mouth, and practice good hygiene. For 
more information, visit 

Navy and Marine 
Corps Medical News 

A Public Affairs Publication of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery 

Project FOCUS - Providing Military 
Families with Mental Healthcare 

By Christine A. Mahoney, Bureau of 
Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs 

WASHINGTON - Deployments 
can be time of increased stress, 
anxiety, and uncertainty for a mili- 
tary member, especially during a 
time of combat. Multiple deploy- 
ments often cause added strain and 
tension. Though our service mem- 
bers are serving directly in harms 
way in a region far away from 
home, this does not mean their 
family members, especially chil- 
dren, are immune to the stressors 
of the deployments. 

Navy Medicine has a continuing 
awareness of the impact deploy- 
ments has on the health and well- 
being of family life. Navy Medicine 
created Project FOCUS based upon 

leading evidenced- based family in- 
tervention models for at-risk fami- 
lies that demonstrated positive 
emotional, behavioral, and adaptive 
outcomes developed by the UCLA 
Child and Family Trauma Service. 
"Project FOCUS is a resiliency- 
training program for military fami- 
lies and children to help them meet 
the challenges of combat opera- 
tional stress during wartime," said 
Kirsten Woodward, Family Program 
Coordinator, Wounded Ill-Injured 
Warrior Support, Bureau of Medi- 
cine and Surgery. "The 2007 De- 
fense Health Board Task Force on 
Mental Health identified this critical 
care need of our military families 

(Continued on page 3) 

TUMACO, Colombia - Chief Hospital Corpsman Brian Wood, a cardiovascular technician em- 
barked aboard USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), performs an echocardiogram on a Colombian man as 
cardiologist Cmdr. Eric Schwartzman, and Meghan McCullough, a University of Southern Califor- 
nia pre-med student and the Spanish translator aboard Comfort, observe at a clinic set up at 
the Max Seidel School June 7. U.S. Navy photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Stratton 

June 12, ', 

Page 2 

Admiral's Call by the Surgeon General of the U.S. Navy 
Vice Admiral Adam. M. Robinson, Jr. 

Navy Medicine's Traumatic Brain Injury 

Program Provides Specialized Care for 

Our Warfighters 

Head injuries often happen 
without warning. Whether in the 
midst of combat on the battlefield, 
conducting drills on a Navy vessel, 
playing baseball, or working on our 
homes during liberty, we are all at 
risk of head injury that could result 
in traumatic brain injury (TBI). Ap- 
proximately 1 million new cases of 
TBI occur in the U.S. each year, 
and 50 to 75-thousand of those 
injuries result in death. 

Because of our warrior ethos, 
frequently when we suffer an in- 
jury, we don't let it slow us down. 
We pick ourselves up, brush our- 
selves off and keep going. Some- 
times this may not be in our best 
interest. Sometimes we need to 
put aside our "go-to" attitude, take 
a step back, and seek help. The full 
effects of serious head injuries are 
not always readily apparent. When 
a Sailor or Marine suffers any head 
injury, regardless of nature, we 
need to take the event seriously. 
The injury to the brain - which may 
range from mild to severe -- could 
be below the surface, and subtle or 
significant changes in behavior or 
aptitude should not be ignored. 

Our tendency may be to down- 
play the headaches, dizziness, or 
mood-swings because we want to 
stay in the fight with our shipmates 
and our fellow Marines. We don't 
want to be perceived as the weak 
link; however, not taking care of 
ourselves can prove more damag- 
ing to ourselves and our units. 
What may appear as just a head- 
ache or a 'temporary' dizziness can 

actually be a serious TBI. 

Since January 2003, over 8,500 
Sailors and Marines have suffered 
traumatic brain injuries. The vary- 
ing degrees and symptoms associ- 
ated with TBI can make detection 
and diagnosis difficult. Symptoms 
can be mild, moderate, or severe. 
Moderate to severe TBI cases are 
more noticeable due to the outward 
signs - physical and mental prob- 
lems. The signs for mild TBI are 
not so easily identifiable, which is 
why we need to be vigilant of our- 
selves and our shipmates. Just to 
give you an idea of the prevalence 
mild TBI cases, from OIF and OEF, 
over 85% of TBI cases have been 

In accordance with Department 
of Defense policy. Navy Medicine 
provides to Sailors and Marines de- 
ploying to an area of the world 
where they may experience ground 
combat an assessment of their 
brain function no more thanl2 
months before they deploy. This 
test -- the ANAM (Automated Neu- 
rocognitive Assessment Metrics) - 
will be used as a baseline measure 
in case a Sailor or Marine is ex- 
posed to a blast situation and/or 
suffers a TBI. Any changes in the 
service member's brain function 
from pre- to post- injury may re- 
quire further screening and assess- 

The Navy Medicine team contin- 
ues to play an active role in pre- 
venting, detecting, diagnosing and 
treating TBIs. As part of the Navy 
and Marine Corps comprehensive 

strategy, we have developed the 
BUMED Traumatic Brain Injury Pro- 
gram designed to care for Sailors, 
Marines and their families. The 
goals of this program are: 

• to raise awareness of signs and 
symptoms of TBI so that those 
who may have suffered a TBI 
seek early medical treatment, 

• to educate medical providers on 
the best way to care for Sailors 
and Marines with TBI, 

• to improve detection methods, 

• to help rehabilitate injured Sail- 
ors and Marines. Navy Medi- 
cine is also working closely with 
other federal agencies and the 
other armed services to coordi- 
nate TBI care, rehabilitation 
and education programs, and 

• to support credible research 
seeking innovative, effective 
treatment for TBI . 

Navy Medicine will continue to 
work closely with our sister ser- 
vices, other federal agencies, and 
academic institutions to provide the 
best health care to our Sailors and 
Marines who deal with psychological 
health and TBI concerns. 

Got News? If you ^d like to submit an article or have an idea for one^ 

contact MEDNEWS at 202'762'3221, fax 202'762'1705 or 

June 12,: 


Providing Care for the Caregiver Commences at NHB 

By Douglas H. Stutz, Naval Hospital 
Bremerton Public Affairs Office 

BREMERTON, Wash. - Naval 
Hospital Bremerton (NHB) recently 
held a 'train the trainer' awareness 
cannpaign for the Bureau of Medi- 
cine and Surgery's (BUMED) Care- 
giver Occupational Stress Control 

"The purpose of this progrann is 
to recognize occupational stress 
injuries early, intervene as ship- 
mates, and connect sufferers with 
support services as needed," ex- 
plained Lt. Cmdr. George Mendes, 
NHB Pastoral Care department 
head, who helped organize the 
awareness campaign. "We don't 
want anyone to be the last one to 
hear or learn about this to identify 
and treat occupational stress, burn- 
out and compassion fatigue. These 

Project FOCUS continued... 

(Continued from page 1) 

and Navy Medicine is addressing this need." 

How does Project FOCUS work? According to 
Kirsten, the program works with families to strengthen 
their coping and adjustment skills to meet the chal- 
lenges and stressors commonly experienced by military 
families during pre-, during, and post-deployments. 

"Instead of the traditional healthcare setting, FOCUS 
provides military families with mental health care in a 
more family-friendly, non-traditional setting. The set- 
ting establishes a more comfortable and receptive envi- 
ronment. This enables family members to be open and 
honest with what they are going through and what they 
need help with during the deployment cycle," she said. 

Working with the existing teams of dedicated mili- 
tary family services personnel, FOCUS' staff assists 
families in understanding how combat operational 
stress affects them and the service family member, 
how to manage stress, and how to strengthen their 

Kirsten continued, "We offer a structured approach 
to facilitate interaction and skill building within the fam- 
ily. The program's initial sessions focus on preparing 
family members to identify and share their concerns 
and understanding of family members' deployment re- 
actions. In separate sessions with parents and chil- 
dren, family members are taught emotional regulation, 
problem solving, goal setting, and communication skills. 
Families then meet together to share their experiences 
using these skills and tools to enhance family communi- 
cation and support." 

FOCUS not only provides services to active duty 

stress injuries are believed to result 
in medical errors, job dissatisfaction 
and poor retention." 

The Caregiver Occupational 
Stress Control program, sometimes 
referred to as "Care for the Care- 
giver," comprises several strategies 
that can be added in the manage- 
ment and leadership kit in helping 
to care for Sailors and Marines. 

"Our providers tend to be 
steamin' demons," said Capt. Rich- 
ard Westphal, BUMED mental 
health clinical specialist caregiver 
program expert and keynote 
speaker. "Our hospital corpsmen, 
nurses, doctors and support staff 
throw themselves into their work. 
They tend to put the health care 
needs of others first and keep their 
own hidden. But they can't hide 
symptoms from those who know 
them best. Those tend to be peers, 

co-workers, close friends and fam- 
ily. " 

One of the available tools that 
Westphal explained to his audience 
is a color-coded stress injury con- 
tinuum that is divided into four, 
distinct hued indices that cover the 
range of recognizing and ultimately 
dealing with stressors on a service 
member. Green signifies 'Ready' 
and that everything is essentially 
good to go in an individual. They 
are considered well-trained, pre- 
pared, fit and focused and part of a 
cohesive unit. It is the unit leader's 
responsibility to keep them at this 
stage. Next is the color Yellow sig- 
nifying 'Reacting,' which is a warn- 
ing flash to have the individual, a 

(Continued on page 5) 

military families, but also takes care of families who have 
lost their military member. 

"Navy Medicine has not forgotten about our families 
who have lost their loved one," said Kirsten. "The FOCUS 
program offers grief, trauma and bereavement services to 
families of fallen service members upon request." 

Project FOCUS is currently being used at the following 
Navy and Marine Corps installations: 

• Naval Air Base Coronado Island, California; 

• Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, California; 

• Naval CBC Gulfport, Mississippi; 

• Naval Air Base Little Creek/ Dam Neck, Virginia; 

• Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California; 

• Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine 
Palms, California; 

• Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; 

• Marine Corps Base Hawaii; 

• Marine Corps Base Okinawa. 

There are plans to provide Project FOCUS at other 
Navy and Marine Corps bases in the future. For military 
families who are interested in the Project FOCUS program 
and are stationed at or near one of the previously men- 
tioned installations, contact the program's admin coordina- 
tor to set up an appointment. 

Kirsten added, "The services provided to our military 
families are private and confidential. Our providers are 
college educated, trained and licensed as well. This is no 
different then seeing your health care provider Project FO- 
CUS than seeing a provider at a medical or dental treat- 
ment facility. We are dedicated to giving our military 
families top notch mental health services." 

June 12, 

Page 4 

From West Coast to West Africa, Navy Doctor Spans Care 
World Over 

By Mass Communication Specialist 2"^ Class David 
Holmes, Africa Partnership Station Nashville Public Af- 

USS NASHVI LLE, At Sea - Capt. Dennis Amundson 
understands the importance of secure and functioning 
healthcare, whether it be in the United States or a world 
away in Africa. 

Giving care in a foreign land such as Africa is no new 
feat for Amundson. The 37-year veteran's experience 
runs deep having served aboard USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), 
completed deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 
served in humanitarian assistance efforts in Indonesia, 
Mexico and the Philippines. The seasoned Navy doctor is 
also a 2006 graduate of San Diego State University 
where he earned a master's degree in Humanitarian As- 
sistance and Disaster Response. Additionally, he and his 
wife help run an orphanage in Uganda catering to chil- 
dren whose mothers have died of AIDS. 

When Amundson isn't traveling to distant corners of 
the Earth, his usual duties take place at San Diego Naval 
Hospital as a pulmonary/critical care doctor while he 
serves as staff in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). But for 
the past three months, he has brought his medical and 
academic expertise to West and Central Africa while de- 

NMPS Corpsmen Receives Bronze Star 

ployed with Africa Partnership Station (APS) Nashville as 
officer- in-charge of the embarked Department of Defense 
(DoD) medical and dental team. 

Since Amundson and his team's rendezvous with USS 
Nashville (LPD 13) in Sekondi, Ghana, Feb. 20, more than 
3,000 patients were seen ranging from simple check-ups 
to observing or assisting in surgeries alongside local doc- 

"A normal internal medicine specialist sees an average 
of 2,000- 2,500 patients in a year, and we did that in just 
two months, often seeing 40-70 patients a day," Amund- 
son said. 

Amundson's team, comprised of Army and Navy ser- 
vicemembers, hit the ground running to overcome varied 
obstacles such as treating large numbers of patients in 
local clinics and working through language barriers in the 
French-speaking African countries. 

"None of the team members had done this type of 
care-giving in Africa except for me," he said. "We were 
pushed to do a quick start-up and find out what skill sets 
could be used. We had Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sule 

(Continued on page 6) 

By Mass Communications Specialist 
3'^^ Class Jessica Pounds, Naval 
Medical Center Portsmouth Public 
Affairs Office 

NORFOLK, Va. - A Sailor sta- 
tioned aboard Sewells Point Branch 
Medical Clinic at the Navy Mobiliza- 
tion Processing Site (NMPS) was pre- 
sented with the Bronze Star Medal 
on April 30 for his actions during 
Operation Enduring Freedom. 

In the fall of 2008, Hospital 
Corpsman 2"^ Class (FMF) Johnnie 
Gouge was serving as the senior 
medical advisor for the Afghan Na- 
tional Police during an attack of the 
Forward Operating Base (FOB) in 
Zormat, Afghanistan. While under 
small arms and rocket- propelled 
grenade fire. Gouge took a defen- 
sive position on a barracks roof and 
called out the position of enemy 
forces that had advanced within 
500 meters of the FOB. 

He withstood explosions from 14 
rockets that came within 100 me- 
ters of his position. He never 
backed down. 

"I n my opinion I was just doing 

what I was trained to do and noth- 
ing more," said Gouge. "It's instilled 
in the mind of all corpsmen to value 
other peoples' lives over your own 
in instances like these." 
Gouge actions saved lives and were 
essential to providing accurate 
counter- mortar fire and repelling 
the enemy's attack. 

Gouge also aided in the capture 
of a high priority Taliban Sub Com- 
mander after an attack on a local 
national construction site. 

"Witnesses said that the at- 
tacker had fled," said Gouge. "I 
spotted him running through a 
nearby village, which led to his cap- 

Gouge was surprised to receive 
the Bronze Star Medal. 

"It's hard for me to believe that 
someone out there thought that I 
deserved an award of this magni- 
tude," said Gouge. "The greatest 
award that I have received in my 
naval career is not the medal itself, 
but rather knowing that the people 
that I have helped were able to get 
back home with their families, and 
that's enough for me." 

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Rear Adm. William 
R. Kiser, Commander Navy Medicine East 
and Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, pre- 
sented the Bronze Star Medal to Hospital 
Corpsman 2"^ Class J ohnnie Gouge. U.S. 
Navy photo by Mass Communications Spe- 
cialist B'^ Class Jessica Pounds 

Gouge is a six and a half year 
veteran of the Navy. He serves as 
a leading petty officer for his divi- 
sion. His primary responsibility is to 
make sure deploying Sailors are 
physically fit before deploying. 

June 12,: 


Continuing Promise Crews Arrive in Colombia to Continue 

By Airman 1st Class Benjamin Strat- 
ton, Continuing Promise Public Af- 

TUMACO, Colombia - The Mili- 
tary Sealift Command hospital ship 
USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrived 
June 6 in Tumaco, Colombia to con- 
tinue its "Partnership of the Amer- 
ica's" mission called Continuing 
Promise 2009 (CP 09). 

CP09, a four-month humanitar- 
ian and civic assistance mission, 
combines U.S. military and inter- 
agency personnel, nongovernmen- 
tal organizations, civil service mari- 
ners, academic and partner nations 
to provide medical, dental, veteri- 
nary and engineering services 
afloat and ashore alongside host 
nation personnel. 

This will be Comfort's fifth stop 
along its scheduled mission path. 
The CP09 team has already 
strengthened relations with citizens 
of Antigua and Barbuda, the Do- 
minican Republic, Haiti and Pa- 

"We have made many new 
friends along the mission so far, 
and I am very much looking for- 
ward to making many more here in 
Colombia," said Navy Capt. Bob 

Care for Caregiver continued. 

(Continued from page 3) 

shipmate or their family take responsibility and notice a 
chance possible brought on by distress or impairment. 
A person 'Injured' is considered to be Orange, where 
they have more severe or persistent distress or impair- 
ment, with possible extreme stress leaving lasting 
memories, reactions and expectations. A person in the 
Red zone is 'III' and is need of a caregiver to help them 
with stress injuries that won't heal without help. 

"We eventually want to get to the point where we 
can automatically use the Stress Injury Continuum 
color codes. We want our personnel to trust their in- 
stincts when they think a shipmate is struggling. If a 
concerned staff member shares their concerns that 
they are worried about someone because they are Or- 
ange, we want the first thought to be it's related to 
some type of more severe stress injury and not that 
jaundice is setting in," said Westphal. 

Another useful tool introduced by Westphal is the 

Stress First Aid model (SFA) model. "SPA gives us an- 
other, different type of leadership opportunity to im- 

Lineberry, CP09 mission com- 
mander. "This provides for yet an- 
other opportunity to express our 
dedication and commitment to our 
neighbors in the U.S. 4th Fleet and 
U.S. Southern Command area of 

Comfort has 250 patient beds 
and more than 900 personnel em- 
barked, employing five operating 
rooms, x-ray machines, CT scan, 
pharmacy, dental suites, physical 
therapy, veterinarian assistance 
and a variety of other services. 

Comfort's crew will support two 
medical treatment sites in Tumaco, 
two engineering sites and various 
other sites employing the skills of 
teams ranging from bio-medical to 

"We look forward to working 
closely with the Colombian officials 
and medical professionals, to learn 
and share best practices as we 
bring the very best in medical and 
engineering services to Tumaco," 
Lineberry said. 

"Together as a team we can 
face challenges and see to a more 
secure environment and prosperous 
future for the Americas." 

CP09 provides an opportunity 

PANAIMA CANAL ZONE - The military Sealift 
Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 
20) makes her way through the Panama Ca- 
nal to cross into the Pacific Ocean J une 3. 
U.S. Navy photo 

not only to provide humanitarian 
assistance but also to learn from 
host nation partners and train a 
diverse team of experts who are 
able to respond to a regional crisis. 

To date, medical personnel 
aboard Comfort have triaged more 
than 43,000 patients and per- 
formed more than 700 surgeries. 
The ship is scheduled to be in Co- 
lombia through mid-June before 
continuing her mission to El Salva- 
dor and Nicaragua. 

prove our own accountability and understanding of our 
own people," Westphal said. "We want to shape a way of 
interactive caring for years to come with these methods. 
We want staff to be engaged and help to break the code of 
silence not to hurt but to help. We do that by taking action 
with unit discussions, command dialogues, building sup- 
port networks, reducing negative stress reactions and pro- 
viding timely and proactive support." 

SFA follows an algorithm model of simple steps using 
seven 'C's' to get a distressed Sailor or Marine out of a 
stressor condition that is having a negative impact on their 
health and performance. Check is to assess, observe and 
listen; Coordinate is to get help, refer as needed; Cover is 
to get to safety as soon as possible; Calm is to relax, 
breathe deeply and slow down; Connect is to get support 
from others; Competence is to restore effectiveness; and 
Confidence is restore self esteem. 

We are committed to creating a quality of professional 
and personal life for our caregivers that matches the qual- 
ity of care we give our active duty and retired Sailors and 
Marines and their families," noted Westphal. 

June 12, 

Navy Medicine R&D Takes Another Step Forward 
Ground Breaks for Joint Research Facility; Navy Units 
Combine as NAMRU-SA 

Page 6 

By Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class (SW) Ar- 
thur N. de la Cruz, Navy Medicine Support Command Pub- 
lic Affairs Office 

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas - A groundbreaking 
ceremony was held here May 6 for the new Tri-Service 
Research Laboratory (TSRL), nnarking another step for- 
ward for Navy Medicine research and developnnent. 
The 181,000-square foot facility will house two prinnary 
research entities: the Directed Energy research portion 
of Naval Medical Research Unit-San Antonio (NAMRU-SA) 
and the Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy 
research group. 

NAMRU-SA, previously the Naval Health Research 
Center Directed Energy Bioeffects Laboratory (DEBL), 
was officially connnnissioned during an infornnal cerennony 
after the groundbreaking. It beconnes the latest subordi- 
nate conrimand under the Navy Medicine Support Conn- 
nnand (NMSC) in Jacksonville, Fla. NAMRU-SA reports to 
NMSC via Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) in San 
Diego and the Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) in 
Silver Spring, Md. 

"Because the Navy, Arnny and Air Force partners of 
the Tri-Service Research Laboratory have successfully 
achieved national and international recognition for their 
combined efforts, we are certainly looking forward to 
future successes as they continue to be seen as a re- 
spected authority on directed energy bioeffects and 
safety standards for the military and the civilian sectors. 

West Africa continued... 

said Rear Adm. Richard C. Vinci, NMSC commander. "The 
staff moves will begin next year, but now we are breaking 
ground on this new facility with great expectation of 
things to come." 

NAMRU-SA consolidates the Naval Health Research 
Center Detachment Directed Energy Bioeffects, the Naval 
Institute for Dental and Biomedical Research (NIDBR) in 
Great Lakes, III., and the NMRC Combat Casualty Care 
research function. 

The Great Lakes and Silver Spring units will be housed 
in a different facility - the Joint Center of Excellence for 
Battlefield Health and Trauma (BHT) that is currently un- 
der construction at Fort Sam Houston. All of these 
groups are being co- located to Fort Sam Houston as a 
result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) 
construction program for San Antonio. 

The TSRL facility consolidates Air Force and Navy re- 
search programs that address the health and safety ef- 
fects of exposure to various stressors into one location. 
When completed and operational it will be a DOD facility 
that allows the Navy and Air Force to simultaneously con- 
duct directed-energy bio-effects research. 

Navy Medicine scientists at NAMRU-SA will work to 
understand and manage the risks associated with human 
exposure to radio frequency (RF), microwaves, lasers and 

(Continued on page I 

(Continued from page 4) 

Abiodum, a surgical technician, re- 
fracting for eyeglasses and becom- 
ing our optometry specialist. We 
actually gave out more than 800 
pairs of glasses during our visits." 

Amundson says the knowledge 
he and his team gained were irre- 
placeable because of the unique 
chance to experience first-hand the 
medical hurdles and triumphs the 
local care-givers accomplished. 

"Altruistically, it's wonderful and 
medically you learn a lot and you 
see how other people do business," 
he said. "You see how local doctors 
and nurses take care of patients 
with practically nothing. Back in 
San Diego at the ICU, I have every 
technology known to man and 
every sub-specialist I could possibly 
want, and these guys are taking 
care of patients with a shoestring 

and a band-aid [so to speak]. .and 
they save lives. They have their 
difficulties, but they overcome, and 
work very hard." 

Amundson and his team, along with 
the crew and staff members of APS 
Nashville, have made stops in Cam- 
eroon, Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria and 
Senegal. APS's central mission is 
working with host countries and 
their militaries to assist the en- 
hancement of maritime safety and 
security for the continent of Africa. 
Amundson concurs that this main 
mission allows the other much 
needed humanitarian assistance 
aspects to prosper. 
"Seventy-five percent of the world's 
population lives within 50 miles of a 
coastline," said Amundson. "Of the 
mega-urban areas that are growing 
such as Accra and Dakar, the Navy 
has the biggest opportunity to en- 
gage them in a very robust way. 

It's all interconnected," said 
Amundson. "Security is key. If you 
can establish some form of security 
and then follow that with basic 
health care, then we're on the right 
track to a safer maritime domain 
and a more secure future for every- 
one. The whole APS evolution has 
been a wonderful experience for us, 
and to be able to be here and do 
this is truly gratifying." 
The APS team, consisting of the 
USS Nashville (LPD 13) crew and an 
embarked staff of Destroyer Squad- 
ron 60 and international maritime 
professionals, are deployed as part 
the international APS initiative de- 
veloped by Naval Forces Europe 
and Africa. APS Nashville, a Nor- 
folk-based amphibious transport 
dock ship and largest APS platform 
to date, is focused on collaborative 
efforts in West and Central Africa. 

June 12,j 


SECNAV Sees Ongoing NH Jax Upgrades While at NAS 
Jaci^sonville for Hangar Opening 

From Naval Hospital Jacksonville 
Public Affairs Office 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Acting 
Secretary of the Navy, the Honor- 
able BJ Penn visited Naval Hospital 
Jacksonville (NH Jax), Fla. on May 
5. NH J ax was one of two nnilitary 
construction (MILCON) sites the 
Secretary visited during his visit to 
Naval Air Station Jacksonville. 

Penn was hosted aboard the 
base by Naval Facilities Engineering 
Command (NAVFAC) Southeast 
Commanding Officer Capt. Doug 
Morton. His first stop was the rib- 
bon-cutting ceremony for the Base 
Realignment and Closure (BRAC) 
2005 P-3 Hangar - the largest 
structure of its kind in the Navy it 
includes 277,000 square feet of 
"green" construction. The $127 mil- 
lion project broke ground on April 
13, 2007, and will be home to five 
P-3 Orion squadrons and will ac- 
commodate more than 1,600 per- 

The Secretary's visit to NH Jax 
included a tour with the hospital's 
Commanding Officer Capt. Bruce 

Gillingham. Penn saw how the facil- 
ity's ongoing $35.8 million addition 
and renovations are designed to 
compliment the hospital's quality of 

"I appreciate what your folks 
are doing... it's very, very important 
taking care of our people," Penn 
said. "You're doing a great job!" 

"The new 62,000 square-foot, 
three-story addition will contain 
state-of-the-art surgical suites and 
advanced physical and occupational 
therapy areas," said Gillingham. 
"The addition and renovations will 
make the hospital look modern 
and contemporary and they will 
help us advance our goals of pro- 
viding high-quality and safe pa- 
tient-centered care to our military 
heroes and their families." 

The hospital addition as well as 
renovations to existing spaces will 
include a new main entrance, labor/ 
delivery area, a six-room operating 
suite, an eight-story elevator tower, 
administration spaces and a new 
physical therapy clinic. 

The hospital serves about 240- 
thousand patients, completes more 

than 543-thousand outpatient vis- 
its, conducts in excess of one mil- 
lion laboratory tests and fills more 
than one million prescriptions annu- 
ally. It is also home to the Navy's 
largest and oldest Family Medicine 
residency program. 

"We clearly displayed how two 
military organizations, NAVFAC and 
the Navy's Bureau of Medicine and 
Surgery (BUMED), have come to- 
gether to work on this project," ex- 
plained Morton. "This is not new to 
NAVFAC. Our customer base 
reaches out and partners with the 
Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, 
U.S. Air Force and other Depart- 
ment of Defense agencies." 

"Visiting the project sites with 
Penn really pulls it all together - 
the funding, the contract award, the 
contractor partner, the customer's 
requirements/mission, and the af- 
fect on those that will reside/work 
in the facility," said Morton. He also 
noted that the Secretary was very 
interested in talking to the Sailors, 
staff and beneficiaries who will be 
using the new spaces, both at the 
hangar site and the naval hospital. 

VER SPRI NG, Md. - Capt. 
Judith E. Epstein, M.D., 
MC, administers the new 
PfSPZ (Plasmodium falcipa- 
rum Sporozoite) Malaria 
Vaccine to a volunteer 
candidate on May 27 as Dr. 
Sharina Reyes, M.D., looks 
on. Epstein is the Clinical 
Trials Team U.S. Military 
Malaria Vaccine Program 
director at Naval Medical 
Research Center (NMRC) in 
Silver Spring, Md. Reyes is 
an NMRC clinical project 
manager. U.S. Navy 
photo by Mass Communi- 
cation Specialist Seaman 
Timothy H. Wilson 


Portsmouth Naval: First Military Hospital to Join March of 
Dimes on NICU Support 

By Deborah Kallgren, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth 
Public Affairs 


Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) is the first 
military hospital and the first hospital in Hampton Roads 
to team up with the March of Dimes "NICU Family Sup- 
port" program. The initiative, launched on May 13, 
brings critically needed support services and vital educa- 
tional messages to families whose babies are in the hos- 
pital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. 

"NICU Family Support" addresses the needs of fami- 
lies during their baby's NICU hospitalization, during the 
transition home and in the event of a newborn loss. The 
program includes an innovative professional develop- 
ment component that helps staff better understand the 
family perspective and help create a more family- 
centered, sensitive environment for NICU families. 

"We are excited to be a March of Dimes NICU Family 
Support site and are looking forward to this collaborative 
effort to support parents throughout their stay with us," 
said Cmdr. (Dr.) Robert P. Englert, Medical Director of 
NMCP's NICU. "This is a wonderful opportunity to work 
with graduate NICU parents and staff to develop pro- 
grams specific to the needs of naval families." 

NMCP is one of seven stateside and two overseas 
military hospitals with a Level 3 NICU. Of the hospital's 
approximately 3,500 births each year, more than 400 
infants are admitted to the NICU. Depending on their 
condition, babies stay in the NICU anywhere from sev- 
eral hours to more than five months. The NICU has 

NAMRU-SA continued... 

nearly two dozen beds staffed by six neonatologists, four 
neonatal nurse practitioners, 25 pediatric residents, 54 
nurses, 18 critical care staff and one social worker who is 
shared with other departments. 

NMCP has more babies delivered than any other De- 
partment of Defense hospital or Hampton Roads hospital. 
NMCP has the most admissions for a combined level 2 & 3 
NICU in the Department of Defense. 

Capt. Craig Bonnema, NMCP acting commander, said, 
"That adds up to a lot of parents who already live the 
unique challenges and stresses of military life, and now 
their baby is in the NICU. It's an emotional journey the 
family may be unprepared for. They need help and guid- 

"This program takes years of lessons learned from 
parents who've experienced that journey. It will give our 
NICU parents a roadmap and some shortcuts to lessen 
their stress, increase their comfort and give them confi- 
dence as parents. And it will help our caring staff be 
even more effective in supporting the babies and families 
who come into the NICU," Bonnema added. 

"The March of Dimes is thrilled to partner with Naval 
Medical Center Portsmouth because of its reputation for 
excellence and the quality care it provides to babies and 
naval families. The crisis of a NICU hospitalization is only 
compounded by the rigors and demands of being a naval 
family," said Liza Cooper, National Director of March of 
Dimes NICU Family Support. "Naval Medical Center Ports- 
mouth does incredible work every day to care for sick 
babies and their families. We want to support their ef- 

(Continued from page 6) 

low-frequency directed energy 
sources, said Capt. Vincent Delnno- 
centiis, NAMRU-SA commanding 
officer. The research will support 
programs that protect the health 



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bureau of Medicine and Sun 

2300 E Street NW 
Washington, DC 20372-5300 

Public Affairs Office 

Phone: 202-762-3221 

Fax: 202-762-1705 

and safety of Navy and Marine 
Corps personnel in both routine and 
combat operations. Much of this 
research is also used to help set 
international safety standards that, 
in turn, help protect the health and 
safety of people around the world. 
Bioeffects are the results of biologi- 
cal damages caused by various 
types of radiation. 

A $69.9 million contract was 
awarded to Skanska USA Building, 
I nc. for construction of the Tri- 
Service Research Laboratory. 
Skanska's local San Antonio office 
will manage the contract. Addition- 
ally, a $367,000 contract was 
awarded to Blackhawk Ventures, 
LLC, based in San Antonio, for in- 
stallation of the ducts and cabling 

necessary to provide voice and data 
communications to the TSRL facil- 

Construction on the new labora- 
tory is scheduled to begin in J uly 
and is expected to be completed by 
March 2011. 

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